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Neymar Bags Brace, Named Best Player As Barcelona Edge Juventus

Neymar Bags Brace, Named Best Player As Barcelona Edge Juventus

By Izuchukwu Okosi:

Brazil superstar Neymar was the star of the show on Saturday night as Barcelona defeated Juventus 2-1 in their pre-season International Champions Cup clash before an 82,500 capacity crowd at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, United States of America.

Neymar, who has been linked with a €220m move to Paris Saint-Germain, scored two spectacular goals on the night and was officially named man of the match.
Juventus, who defeated eliminated Barcelona from last season’s UEFA Champions League and started with a strong line-up on Saturday like the Spanish side, scored through Giorgio Chiellini.

Neymar and Lionel Messi combined beautifully but their third minute move was thwarted by goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon as the Barca stars looked to impress new manager Ernesto Valverde in his first match in charge of the team.

The Brazilian however scored in the 15th minute after a one-two exhange with Paco Alcacer and fired to the roof of the net from inside the six yard box.

Neymar grabbed his brace in the 26th minute when he got to the end of a trademark Lionel Messi lofted pass. The Paris Saint-Germain target went past the Juve defence and slotted the ball beyond Buffon.

Chiellini restored some hope for the Italian champins as he scored with a header in the 62nd minute from a corner kick which came after a promising move and a shot from Paulo Dybala.

Substitute Gonzalo Higuain missed the chance to restore parity for the Old Lady as he fired his shot in the 75th minute to the skies

Sergio Roberto then lacked the composure to finish off a good move after a Luis Suarez pass as substitue goalkeeper Wjciech Szczesny came off his line to block the shot in the 88th minute.

Line-ups:

JUVENTUS: Buffon (Szczesny, 45); Lichtsteiner (De Sciglio, 45), Benatia, Barzagli (Chiellini, 45), Asamoah; Marchisio (Rincon, 45), Khedira (Pjanic, 45); Sturaro, Lemina (Dybala, 58), Bentancur (Cuadrado, 58); Mandzukic (Higuain, 58)

BARCELONA: Cillessen (Ortola, 45); Vidal (Semedo, 45), Pique (Marlon, 45), Mascherano (Umtiti, 45), Digne (Alba, 45); Rakitic (Alena, 45), Samper (Sergio, 45), Iniesta (Roberto, 45); Messi (Arda, 45), Paco (Denis Suarez, 45), Neymar (Suarez, 45)

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